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Riding the third wave of HR technology
IT for HR departments has basically come in three major waves. First came human resource information systems that automated the fundamentals -- essentially, forms, employee records and communications. Then came the age of talent management during the past decade, and that capability brought a new class of software dedicated to identifying, hiring, developing and retaining productive employees.
The third and current wave of technologies for HR has developed into a multipronged effort to improve the inventions of the first two waves while sprouting offshoots to handle the kinds of complex tasks HR managers could only have imagined. These new job responsibilities include measuring employee sentiment by polling workers online and monitoring social media. Most organizations have a strategy for grappling with the subtleties and intangibles of the employee experience -- anything from the user-friendliness of HR self-service to the office decor.
Many of the third-wave technologies get their mojo from trends that are sweeping the broader IT world, especially mobility, analytics, AI, cloud computing and big data. This handbook touches on all these technologies and their roles in HR. Our first feature explains how the trendy concept of the "intelligent enterprise" could influence HR's strategies. Next, we highlight the benefits and challenges of chatbots that handle the more rote tasks of HR managers and recruiters. Finally, we examine the top six technologies HR pros need to watch in 2019.